Saturday, June 27, 2009

June Daring Bakers - Bakewell Tart

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

Bakewell tarts…er…puddings combine a number of dessert elements but still let you show off your area’s seasonal fruits.

Like many regional dishes there’s no “one way” to make a Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding, but most of today’s versions fall within one of two types. The first is the “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.

The version we’re daring you to make is a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavoured shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam.

This month I was super excited to participate in the Daring Baker Challenge, because I was going to be joining up with my friend Jill to share our results together. Plus my sister Kati is in town and she's been wanting to try out one of my "experiments". Sadly, I wasn't all that thrilled with how it turned out. It tasted bland to me, even with the lemon curd filling I had chosen to use rather than a jam. Jill had chosen to use a strawberry-rhubarb filling and hers was much more moist than mine and I absolutely loved her tart tin!~ (*note to self, must buy tart tin from Target*) Mine also fell in the middle (pictures to come later). Not really sure what was going on there with that. Sigh.... But if you want the recipe and feel up to the challenge, you can visit Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar for the full recipe and directions.

OH well, it wasn't a complete disaster. I was able to hang out with friends and share some fun stories and good laughs. PLUS, I stored the leftovers in the fridge, so maybe once its chilled a bit I'll enjoy it more. AND I had a ton of lemon curd leftover that I was able to use with some fresh homemade scones and whipped cream, which was a total bonus. Yum-my.

I'm very excited to see what's next and meet up again with my new friend Jill for another taste-testing event! :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Recap of the weekend

This weekend was so awesome and so relaxing. I FINALLY caught up on some of my favorite shows, finished a book and cleaned up the house on Friday night. Then on Saturday Jason and I were able to hang out around the house and picked up a pool at KMart for Jeep & Seven. And to say they love it is a complete understatement...
And around and around they went....
The best part about this little pool - it wears them completely out! They were asleep at 8pm and didn't wake up for 12 hours. (*Sigh*) dog toy ever!
Look at cute little Jeep all curled up for the night. That's my boy!
Then yesterday we spent an awesome afternoon & evening with our friends Dana & Julie before they headed out on their 2 month tour/trip. Ben & Alicia came over and we BBQ'd out and just enjoyed each other's company. I'm going to miss Julie so much this summer!!
Hope you all had an awesome weekend as well!

Monday, June 08, 2009

An Opportunity For Praise!

This last week was an opportunity to trust God. A couple of our dearest friends, Dana & Julie had quite the scare this last week. Over the camping trip a few weeks back Dana had Julie show us a suspicious mole on her arm. Jason, being familiar now a couple times with what irregular moles look like, mentioned to her she really should get it looked at. So she tried for a couple of weeks to get in touch with a dermatologist from our church who practices at Vanderbilt. For whatever reason, the nurse just wasn't calling her back and finally Julie just had to corner the guy at church and ask him to please look at it and let her know if she should come in. He wanted to see her the very next day.

Last Tuesday they did the biopsy and said they would have the results within a couple days. On Thursday she got the call from the doctor, it was malignant melanoma. His prognosis wasn't good and he said he needed to measure it to find out how deep the cancer cells went. If it was .75-1.0 mm dense, he was going to ask Julie to undergo lymph node mapping to see where else the cancer might have spread to. And then they would discuss treatment options. She called me Thursday evening barely able to communicate the news through her tears, and said she was hoping some of us from the small group could come over that night and pray over her. Within a few hours, everyone had dropped what they were doing and headed over to be with her and Dana. We all surrounded her, anointed her with oil and prayed faith and healing over her body. It was awesome to see everyone come together so quickly as a family and be there in a time of need. And yet as scary as it was, I didn't feel fear. I knew God would move on her behalf.

Friday afternoon I get a call from her that the cancer was only .71 mm thick. Wow. God moved and answered our prayers down to the specifics. It was incredible and Julie was ecstatic. As we all were. She headed back to Vanderbilt that afternoon and they removed more tissue just to be safe, in all its probably a 4-5 inch gash in her arm and then they stitched her up. She was so brave and I am beyond grateful. I love this girl dearly. She has been a gift that God has added to my life and to our small group since last fall. We have quickly become the closest of friends. That's what friends are for. To be family when family is not close by. To pray at a moment's notice when needed. To hold and comfort when there is fear and uncertainty. And to stand beside in battle when the trumpet sounds. I am so grateful, so blessed beyond words with the friends God has brought into my life here in Nashville and even more grateful He answers prayers.